Saturday, June 29, 2013

#VimTechList: 5 top African built Android games on Google Play


It's been a long time since I did regular posts on things related to technology. Thanks to a recent Facebook post and some comments from friends, I am expecting to birth a series. We're calling it the "Vim Tech List". Yup, it has a hashtag too #VimTechList. You know what Vim is already from regularly reading this blog or from here. Tech is tech, list is list. For the first instalment, I want to delve into games. I'd list 5 great games you can get from the Google Play Store which are all built by Africans. Say #morevim to that.

I've always used an Android phone since December 2010. Once I joined Google, I became more interested in using apps that were African. Thankfully, the Android Developer Challenge (ADC) was concluding and many great African Android apps had been built. The Android Africa Challenge (AAC), led by tech community leaders on the continent, also followed. When I got my recent Nexus 4, I wanted to download even more new African Android apps to check them out. I asked around too for some recommendations. I love to play computer games, especially on mobile phones. Let's get into the games :-)

 Ha! Buggy: This game is built by +Dadja BASSOU from Dakar, Senegal. He's one of the best Android developers on the continent and has been very active in the tech community in Dakar. He also interned with Google for a bit. Ha! Buggy is a fast racing game whereby the Android mascot tries to avoid killers while getting to a goal. Ha! Smarty! It's a very addictive game. Sadly, I have not gone past Level 4 yet. Watch a normal playthrough on YouTube.


Rainbow Racer: I discovered this game when it became an honourable mention at the ADC. It's built by +Herko Lategan who is from Cape Town, South Africa. To play, you move a ball on a narrow green field, collecting stars on the way, navigating towards to a goal. It's a 3D game (built of Android 3D architecture) as well which is tres cool. It's a physics based game and you can compete in your region as well.


Matatu: No, this is not a game of urvans racing in Nairobi. It's also the name of a popular card game in Uganda. So the brilliant team of Kola Studios folks have brought Uganda's popular card game to Android phones everywhere. It's consistently been one of the free game apps on Google Play worldwide. That is big! It's played maybe 20,000 times a day. +Terry Karungi is one of the top female Android developers on the continent too, once a Google Student Ambassador from Makerere University, and a one-time Google I/O attendee. I learnt about this game while attending G-Uganda 2011 and folks were having fun playing the game at the +GDG Kampala booth. Matatugame is brilliant though, it's promoting Uganda via this great local game.

Ayo: This game is pretty much an Oware (otherwise known as Mankala) game. See a Youtube demo of the game. This game is developed by Taytronik, Nigerian mobile app developers based in Canada. The objective is to collect groups of 4 marbles from within your section of the board or land on a group of 4 marbles on your opponent's section.

 Sipa: I learnt about this game via Amah Abaglo from Togo when I was asking around for cool African Android apps to download. I knew of +Tiyab Konlambigue already and his strength as a developer, but to know he had built a mobile app for this popular Togolese card game was awesome. He is also quite active in the Lome tech community and is a member of +GDG Lomé. Tiyab is part of Mcom Multicartes which has a number of other Android apps you can download too. His Open Drive application  was a winner at the Google Apps Developer Challenge last year.

If you think Ayo is cool, you should impatiently wait for +kobla nyomi's Oware 3D game. It uses the Android 3D architecture and the play experience is phenomenal. It's not on the Google Play store yet. See some screenshots here on GhanaThink's Facebook page.

PS: Do you know of some other Android game apps built by Africans? I know of some game apps that are on iOs, will do a post on that already. I've already talked about +Eyram Tawia's Leti Games extensively on my blog, they have offerings of iWarrior to the upcoming Ananse. Also, check out Agoro by +Kwesi Buabeng & group.

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